Nine years Capetonians have waited to savour the All Blacks in their backyard.
The All Blacks have ventured to Durban (twice), Johannesburg (five times), Bloemfontein and Port Elizabeth before returning to Cape Town, the most beautiful and second largest city in South Africa.
From Robben Island to Table Mountain; Lion's Head, Camps Bay, Cape Point where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet, to neighbouring Stellenbosch and gateway to the picturesque Garden Route, Cape Town really is a slice of paradise.
Yet despite their long absence, this weekend's test at Newlands could be the All Blacks' last at the world's second oldest rugby venue.
The Weekend Herald understands there are no plans to take them back anytime soon, and rumours are rife rugby will eventually move from Newlands to the modern Cape Town Stadium on the waterfront which seats almost 20,000 more fans.
Why has it been so long since the All Blacks played in Cape Town?
High-ranking South African rugby officials point to the fact this test sold out in one hour as evidence the All Blacks are a major drawcard. They suggest revenue is important -- that 52,000 does not do this match justice.
Yet when the All Blacks thrashed the Boks at Kings Park in Durban last year the crowd was the same. And in the three years in a row (2013-15) they played in Johannesburg, only 10,000 more jammed Ellis Park.
The only genuine argument in terms of significantly boosting crowds comes when the All Blacks are taken to Soweto. In 2012, the All Blacks attracted 88,000. Two years earlier, when Ma'a Nonu and Israel Dagg combined to ruin John Smit's 100th test at the death, 94,000 packed Soccer City.
So, no, crowd size and revenue is not the main deterrent. The belief that the Boks have a much better chance of upsetting the All Blacks at altitude, along with the hostile, intimidating nature of Ellis Park where fruit and other objects used to be thrown at the visiting team bus, also played their part. But those, too, were not the ultimate barriers.
The reasoning could be seen from the moment the All Blacks arrived in Cape Town this week. They were swarmed at the airport by adoring, fanatical locals who desperately lunged for treasured autographs or photos. They even sung the New Zealand national anthem. Such support follows the All Blacks everywhere throughout the week. Sonny Bill Williams, in particular, is treated like a demigod.
"We got an amazing welcome at the airport," All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster said. "They really get in behind us and it's a pretty special sort of feeling.
"They growled [at] us for not coming back for the last nine or 10 years and all I'd say is it's not our fault. For some reason South Africa don't want to play us here. To come here and have locals singing your national anthem outside your bus is pretty cool."
Many of those locals who gathered at the airport and outside the team hotel comprise a group called the "Cape Crusaders". This is a sizeable minority of coloured fans who gravitate towards the All Blacks -- and Crusaders -- largely because of historical grievances with the apartheid regime, and the Boks' historical links to the past white elite.
This support is generational, and has evolved over time to incorporate a great appreciation for the style of rugby the All Blacks play.
Even now, with the Boks a driving force for transformation, many coloured locals remain staunch in their love for the All Blacks. Those who can't afford to watch the match live will surround Newlands before kickoff.
Springboks centenarian Bryan Habana and Smit have openly taken umbrage with this group. Frustrations not only stem from the vocal support for the All Blacks and Crusaders, but abuse previously directed at the Boks and local Stormers team.
Former Auckland coach Paul Feeney, now assisting the Stormers, has experienced the local affinity with New Zealand first-hand.
"Even at Super Rugby games there are a lot of All Blacks jerseys in the crowd," Feeney said. "The All Blacks have a massive following because of the way they play the game and because of their name. I've been told it has been that way for the past 20, 30 years.
"They worship the All Blacks here. South Africans love their rugby and the Cape colours or Cape Crusaders they love the All Blacks. They haven't been here for nine years so they show that passion even more."
This home away from home atmosphere is the primary reason South African rugby officials have been so reluctant to schedule the All Blacks in Cape Town. Any wonder. Rolling out the red carpet welcome mat for the opposition is not in the playbook.
The All Blacks' absence is encapsulated in the fact that none of their match-day 23 this week were involved the last time they beat the Boks 19-0 at Newlands. Nine years that long; a career for most.
As long as their popularity continues, it could be a similar story by the time the All Blacks next venture back to the Cape, too.